Two Edca sites used during rescue efforts to find divers in Tubbataha Reef — AFP
MANILA, Philippines — Two sites of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) were used as staging areas to help in the search and rescue operations (SAR) for four missing divers in Tubbataha Reef, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Tuesday.
According to the AFP, three U.S. air assets stationed in Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu are being utilized to help in the ongoing mission to find the four missing Filipino divers after their boat M/Y Dream Keeper submerged in Tubbataha Reef last Sunday, April 30.
“The responsive United States-Philippines combined inter-agency operation utilizing Edca locations was carried out at the request of the Philippine government,” the AFP said in a statement.
Aside from the said assets, the AFP Western Command (Wescom) deployed the Philippine Navy vessel BRP Carlos Albert (PC-375) and utilized two of its air assets to augment the ongoing SAR operations.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said MY Dream Keeper carried 15 crew members, 12 guests and passengers along with five dive masters when it sank at around 6:00 a.m. on Sunday.
So far, only 28 of them have been rescued, according to the PCG.